London Higher and the University of East London have today launched CUREate, a new programme to attract creative graduates into London’s postgraduate health courses. The programme is the first of its kind is being piloted in London where 35,000 people each year are enrolled in creative undergraduate courses.

Ten higher education partners from across London will host local outreach activity during the spring and summer terms. These activities will be developed by a team of students from health and creative disciplines in partnership with a faculty mentor. The project also highlights nearly 50 postgraduate health courses in London open to creative graduate entry, spanning nursing, midwifery and seven allied health professions.

Project Manager, Lydia Dye-Stonebridge said, “The central premise of CUREate is that creative students already have many of the core skills needed to deliver high-quality care and shape health at a time of transformation. Outreach for accelerated postgraduate courses, however, has almost exclusively been focussed on those with science backgrounds. CUREate’s aim is to challenge that bias and engage in new ways.”

Nicola Turner, Head of Sector Practice at the Office for Students explained, “Many healthcare disciplines offer qualification pathways at postgraduate levels, including nursing, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy. These are fantastic careers that offer very high employability while making a difference to people’s lives every day. The Office for Students is delighted to fund this project which will raise awareness of these disciplines among creative students who may not realise that their transferrable skills are highly valuable in healthcare and that these opportunities could be for them. I look forward to seeing how this project develops and particularly to the students’ engagement and feedback as this has the potential to be extended to other regions if successful.”

Speaking about the programme, Alexander McKinven, a physiotherapist and musical theatre performer said, “I’ve been very lucky to work in the performing arts so I’m blending my two loves of dance and health. The soft skills you learn as a performer in terms of communication, in terms of presentation, in terms of articulation and diligence are really important skills that you can actually bring to the team and, in a healthcare setting, that blend makes it more successful if you have a diverse background of people involved in it.”

As part of the CUREate project, the University of East London will also lead on research into perceptions of the health professions held by creative students. “We know quite a bit about the stereotypes that health professions hold about each other, but we don’t know much about how the health professions are viewed by those from other disciplines,” explained Lead Investigator, Dr Graham Copnell. “We know that there are these connections between health and creative disciplines, but the question is whether creative students see it, and if not, what we can do to make the connections more evident.”

The CUREate project will run as a pilot until August 2020, with key findings available in the late part of the year. More information can be found at

For more information, please contact Project Manager, Lydia Dye-Stonebridge.